By Stephen Black
While some holiday tournaments got kicked off tonight, the feature hoops game in the state pitted Class AAAAAA No. 1 Norcross against Class AAAAA No. 1 Miller Grove at Greater Atlanta Christian in the Showcase by Blue Collar Basketball. Miller Grove won the highly-anticipated contest 64-62 as Earl Bryant has 14 points in the second half to lead the Wolverines. Brandon Goodwin had 26 for Norcross , while freshman guard Alterique Gilbert added 14 for Miller Grove.
Tonight at Gainesville High School, the Lanierland Tournament tipped off and will continue through next weekend. Three ranked boys squads will compete in the tournament and two girls teams in our rankings will also be featured in the four-day event, which also takes place at North Hall.
Flowery Branch girls started the tournament with a 58-30 win over host Gainesville. With the win the Lady Falcons improved to 9-0 and will, ironically, face Gainesville again Tuesday night in a region game.
Game 2 included the Class AAA No. 7 North Hall Trojans facing off against Lakeview Academy, the fifth seed in the tournament. The Trojans took care of business with a 77-40 win over their outmatches Class A foes.
Later in the day, the second-seeded North Hall girls stymied Johnson-Gainesville 65-20. North Hall, ranked No. 6 in Class AAA, improved to 6-1 overall and appeared to have recovered from the Lady Trojans’ 45-28 loss to Banks County on Tuesday. North Hall will go up against top-seeded and No. 3 East Hall on Thursday at Gainesville. The top-seeded Lady Vikings advanced to their game against North Hall by beating Lakeview 54-41.
The host Gainesville boys, ranked No 9 in Class AAAAA, played in the nightcap and beat Chestatee 81-69. The Red Elephants face North Hall on Thursday in a ranked matchup.
East Hall, the third and final ranked boys team in the Lanierland, fell to 9-1 Johnson-Gainesville in a surprising 75-50 blowout. Johnson will now play Gainesville Friday at North Hall.